As previous reviews have noted, NeroUno is extremely dry and recalls the ink of something like Encre Noire - except here, it perhaps makes more sense given Montegrappa's main line of business.
It certainly ends up with a version of vetiver that is dark and slightly "dank" (despite the overall dryness), and therefore justifies the comparison with Encre Noire more than it would with something like, say Guerlain's Vetiver.
However, before we get to that stage we have a linear composition that showcases spice, particularly nutmeg and clove, and a panoply of woods. For long periods it's so dry it almost makes me thirsty. On the "other" site, someone has a thread where they compare NeroUno to Bvlgari Pour Homme Extreme. Well, I can vaguely see the point, I suppose, but it's a little like comparing a blueprint and a pile of breezeblocks with the finished house. NeroUno certainly suffers by that comparison, and gives all the impression of a set of raw materials not yet put in order.
Mrs Funwithfrags hated this; I neither took to it nor against it. Her view was that it smelled old; I asked whether she meant old in style or of old things. Both, was the reply. That's enough for me. Wearing fragrance is a social thing too.
So I'll stick with a neutral rating and my initial analogy, reiterated: a set of raw materials is all very well, but the value added comes when they are put together properly. Worth a sniff out of interest, but there are many other things out there constructed with much better craft.
I don’t really get two thirds of the notes listed on the box, especially the top ones, but nonetheless I’d say that Nerouno works. Basically I agree with other reviewers: this is a sharp, contemporary yet “old-school in spirit” hybrid exactly halfway Dunhill Edition and Cacharel pour Homme. Imagine a very dry herbal-woody scent (vetiver) opening with a puzzling hard slap of cloves, juniper and nutmeg: spicier than a bag of spices, very woody, slightly herbal and almost overwhelmingly dry. There’s a light whiff of something rubbery-inky which may be due to vetiver (perhaps suede too), and that somehow works fine in the composition. Ironically, since this fragrance is meant to be part of the famous Nerouno line of writing instruments by Montegrappa, it almost recalls the “ink” part of it. This “inky” side smells also lightly bergamot and violet-infused, acting as a subtle sort of “soft” mist providing some smoothness and pale colour in the strong woody-spicy central texture. Still it’s mostly all about robust smoky woods, cloves, vetiver, nutmeg and juniper, so be prepared for a very sharp, dry, rather dark and almost edgy aromatic galore. Extremely linear, but with a nicer drydown finally giving you some break from all the cloves-juniper-nutmeg galore, mostly focusing on a gentle crisp note of vetiver – still spiced, just not that obtrusively anymore.
Overall too dry and spicy for my tastes, and probably a bit too artificial to show some interest, but I admit it wears smoothly (quite close to skin, actually, but it’s a plus with such bold notes) and in a way, it’s fairly refined and more unusual than most of woody-spicy scents of this range. Except for Dunhill Edition and Cacharel pour Homme, I can’t really think of anything similar to this in fact. All in all, worthy a sniff.
Totally forgot to review this one. Unfortunately what I can remember about this one is cloudy. I do remember it starting off with an almost Fahrenheit like gasoline note, and then turning more into a Dior Homme type thing. The few reviews on this I have read, nobody seems to feel how I do though. I will have to sample this one again. It's harder to find in the US though.